TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. said it has launched its latest-generation electric park brake (EPB) technology with three major Japan-based vehicle manufacturers, and the company will begin production with a fourth automaker in the near future.
TRW is a global leader in active and passive safety technology.
The company’s EPB system functions as a conventional hydraulic brake for standard service brake applications and as an electric brake for parking and emergency braking.
"Because EPB is electronically rather than mechanically controlled, it can work with a variety of vehicle systems and sensors," said Peter Lake, executive vice president of sales for TRW. "As an example, in the U.S. following NHTSA's recent FMVSS 111 amendment that will require rear backup cameras, an EPB system could be integrated with the video signal and automatically brake the vehicle if a potential issue is detected.”
Additionally, EPB can combine with a vehicle's electronic stability control system to enable four-wheel anti-lock functionality. This enhances safety in an emergency braking situation.
“There is also a drive-away assist function which holds the vehicle in a stopped position without the need to constantly depress the brake pedal – an excellent traffic jam feature," Lake said.
The EPB system, using electrical cables and a control switch instead of a typical foot pedal or hand lever, simplifies routing and allows for greater freedom of design for vehicle interiors. The smaller package becomes even more attractive as vehicle manufacturers continue to requisition vehicle space for new features and options. The system can also significantly reduce weight when compared to conventional park brake systems.
TRW has more than 25 million electric park brake units on world roadways. The company was first-to-market with an integrated electronically controlled park brake, pioneering the technology in 2001.
With 2013 sales of $17.4 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. The company is headquartered in Livonia, Mich.
TRW Automotive, through its subsidiaries, operates in 24 countries and employs approximately 65,000 people worldwide.